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Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Professionals
Melissa Alderfer

First Name: Melissa

Last Name: Alderfer

Position Title: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Job Responsibilities: Research, Patient Care, Administration and Teaching (research and clinical supervision and mentoring)

Education/Training: Psychology

About Me/My interests: My primary research goals are to understand and improve the psychosocial adjustment of families of children with cancer. I have undertaken these goals with a unique focus on all members of the family, including siblings of the children with cancer, using family-systems and social ecology frameworks. In addition to individual family members being affected by childhood cancer, family relationships and family functioning may also be affected. A second focus of my research program and scholarship efforts addresses these issues. My efforts in the realm of family functioning have included examination of: a) methodological issues in measuring family functioning in families with children with cancer or other medical conditions; b) decision-making and communication within families regarding a child’s healthcare; and c) family-level interventions.

Training Opportunities: Yes

My Contact Information:

Address: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Division of Oncology, Room 1485, CHOP North 34th & Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Email: Alderfer@email.chop.edu
Phone: 215-590-4364

Topics of Interest for Collaboration: Childhood cancer; families; siblings; adjustment; interventions

Publications that may be of interest to others:  

Alderfer, M.A. & Stanley, C. (in press). Health and illness in the context of the family. In A. Baum, T. A. Revenson & J. E. Singer (Eds.) Handbook of Health Psychology, Second Edition. pp. 491-514. London, England: Taylor & Francis.

Wiener, L.S., Hersh, S. P., & Alderfer, M.A. (2010). Psychosocial support for the child and family. In P. A. Pizzo & D. G. Poplack (Eds.) Principles and Practice in Pediatric Oncology, Sixth Edition. pp. 1322-1346. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Alderfer, M.A., Long, K.A., Lown, E.A., Marsland, A.L., Ostrowski, N.L., Hock, J.M., & Ewing, L.J. (2010). Psychosocial adjustment of siblings of children with cancer: A systematic review. Psycho-oncology, 19, 789-805

Alderfer, M.A., Fiese, B., Gold, J., Cutuli, J.J., Holmbeck, G., Goldbeck, L., Chambers, C., Abad, M., Spetter, D., & Patterson, J. (2008). Evidence based assessment in pediatric psychology: Family measures. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33, 1046-1061.

Kazak, A.E., Alderfer, M.A., Rourke, M.T., Simms, S., & Streisand, R. & Grossman, J.R. (2004). Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in families of adolescent cancer survivors. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 29, 211-219.


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